at it again

MakeupAlley. Mineral oil, again–see also here.

Commentary on screenshots taken in middle of the night, now viewed in the clear light of day. Which makes them all the shadier. What with light casting shadows.

(Updated to add:) There is a distinction between having a point and how one makes it. A point may be valid, or what some of us like to call “true.” But that fact of the matter alone isn’t going to help it. In order to survive in the big bad world outside one’s own head, that point has to be shaped, tidied up, groomed, made decent and presentable and fit for human society and civilized company. Which, let’s face it, the inside of my head certainly ain’t…

So: a need to be somewhat dressed up in rhetoric. Fashioned, made fashionable. Made polite and politic. 

It is, of course, unfortunate that rhetoric and stylistics often run contrary to sense, sensibility, and sincerity: and assist Machiavellian manipulation.

Consider the following as a case-study in sincerity. And (updated again, sorry) a call to arms against a sea of troubles. For icaria.

The original post:

From OP’s profile, and reviewing and board-posting history, looks like a bona fide question–has caught glimpses of the MO stuff out of corner of eye, now it’s captured her attention.

The good: it’s a fair question, given there’s a lot of urban myth going around; at best a simple confusion of coincidence or correlation with causation. And, as with anything you stick on your skin, YMMV. No way to tell till you try it out on yourself.

More good: setting up a question as a question: noticing a discrepancy or contradiction, questioning received wisdom, asking for alternative wisdom. And I say “wisdom” advisedly: not “views” or “opinions,” but EVIDENCE and PROOF. See “links: enlightened titillation” for more.

The bad: not I think for Britty, given the good above. Truth is truth. It can’t be voted on. It’s not subject to majority ruling. That’s fascism, guys, and it’s dangerous. See: Germany, 1928-33. Hence what I replied (thinking carefully, or trying to, at stupid o’clock):

sorry–it works for some people and not for others; re clogging

1. anything can potentially clog, upset, or irritate anyone, YMMV.

2. it’s 0-rated on every comedogenicity and irritancy scale around, i.e. low probability of clogging pores; but that’s a statistical average, so again, YMMV. Could clog on you, could be fine.

3. it’s no more or less likely to clog *your* individual pores than any other oil. For most people, heavy stuff like coconut oil (and indeed Vaseline) are very much more likely to clog.

4. the only way to find out if it suits *your* individual skin–as with any other product–is trial and error.
The same goes for products containing mineral oil (amongst other things); and if their use results in clogs (or not), there’s always the possibility that it’s not the mineral oil (on its own) that’s responsible, but another ingredient, or indeed a combination of ingredients, or the formula as a whole.
For ex., some people can use CDLM–which contains mineral oil–but can’t use straight mineral oil; and vice versa.

5. a lot of people on here using MO to wash are–correct me if I’m wrong???–using it as a sort of pre-cleanse, then washing with their regular cleanser, then moisturising etc.
The main times I’ve used it as my only cleanser and moisturiser–well, had it used on me–were when in hospital with serious derm conditions (plus when I was an infant). And when eczema has been really bad. But these were medical emergencies, extreme situations…

6. also, big difference between plain mineral oil and many of the products sold as “baby oil” which contain other things.

HTH, sorry these things can’t be simpler. If you’re using another cleanser and it’s working, maybe just stick with it?

p.s. by “trial and error” I mean very small patch test–behind an ear is standard–not all over face

More bad (again, more generally-symptomatic–not Brit, who’s still in my view asking a good question, well). A trend I see in questions about products. Seeing something glittering out of the corner of your eye, lusting after something you don’t have simply because you don’t have it, envying those who have it (and for whom it works). Following fashion for the sake of following fashion, because it’s there.

Right now, there’s been two fashions on the Skin Care Board. There may be a Third Way–what I usually advocate: IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT.

The first is to bash–aggressively–the second, older trend. Which may be old enough and stable enough to be style rather than fashion. It’s the same old story: fashion’s cheap and fast and easy and can be bought; style is very very very tricky, and requires knack, talent, eye. It cannot be bought. Fashion aspires to style–see: trousers/pants on women the mini-skirt. Style never aspires to fashion. It doesn’t aspire, that’s the thing. It just is. And leaves fashion to jostle for position and fight within itself.

The older trend, which I’m calling (a) style, has been around for a while. Searching out cheaper alternatives to expensive products. Akin to The Beauty Brains and Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop.

Analyzing what’s in a product, what are the crucial elements that make it work, and replicating it for less $$$$. Knocking expensive products for being expensive and ripping off customers. Knocking, by extension, users of said products for being mugs. Who got mugged. And for being stupid. Liking something because it’s in pretty packaging, smells nice, and makes them feel like a lady of leisure and luxury. Who knows, some MUAers may well be–but it’s the cunning trick of selling a Chanel lipstick to someone who would/could never wear the clothes. Stupid for believing crap they’re told by “authoritative” sales assistants. Stupid for not doing proper research before buying something, or not being able to do so.

But: there are people out there who are perfectly smart, but have other things to do besides research. Work. Kids. Lives. They might not like doing research. They might be perfectly capable of doing it, but are either obliged or choose to spend their time doing other things. This is the real world.

OK, you do need to do a little bit of basic research, but treating MUA as an interrogatable (rather than, ahem, questionable) database. Asking the boards the right questions: in the form of board searches, but also asking questions as here.

And that’s why MUA is a wonderful resource–pooling collective knowledge, 24/7, worldwide. And why some of us (and by “us” I mean MUAers–not in any “us vs. them” sense) are happy to be part of the hive-mind: because it’s about sharing that knowledge and helping people. Who might, for all manner of reasons, not be able to do all the research you’ve done, nor accumulate the knowledge you have over a long time. Because–and this is important, so it’s going in caps:


This is an anarcha-feminist rhizomally-networked collective. Which is not a place for generational power-play (viz, also, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th gen feminists, post-feminists, antifeminists):


And that is what really gets my goat: women acting in bad faith. You’re women. One thing women have always been good at is that whole networking business. For good or, all too often, for ill; but it’s a quality that is good in and of itself. It’s sad that so often it’s our greatest weakness; when it could be our greatest strength. We’re more than just pettiness. And worth more than being despised as silly, small, small-minded, frivolous. Put all the skills and knowledge and netting on MUA to good use, as a strength: supportive, creative, interactive, to share and discuss and expand knowledge. Not to destroy each other. Even better use, by the bye, not merely to combat but to transcend patriarchal (vertically-hierarchical, authoritative, power-obsessed) oppression.

and talk WITH (not at/against) each other ABOUT it

Anyway. Back to our thread.

Thread gets hijacked. Issues that bug me here, a combination of kindergarten, teenage girl, and bitter gossipy vicious older women:

  1. People squabbling sillily, running to the defence of their favourite product, running to knock another product, and ganging up on Enemies. It’s the school playground, bullying, and gangs again.
  2. Interesting tactic of bully trying to appear nice, so as to get new person on their side, making your side look like the nice guys, therefore The Others must be the bad guys.
  3. Now: one can always says whatever one wants about one’s intentions after making a comment, but sometimes that just doesn’t sit right. Laughing it off as all a big joke that someone else doesn’t get is kinda lame. Accusing someone else of paranoia and thread-jacking when they’ve been deliberately set up to react is below the belt.
  4. Setting An Enemy up for a fall (and for falling off-topic). See in the next screenshot: ” […] your response is not related. And is being appropriately flagged for being OT” (with a revealing use of the passive there).
  5. Friends/buddies/allies ganging up together. Especially revolting when in this cooing fake-saccharine way. Urgh.

Take for example:

“I hope this [the use of mineral oil] isn’t all just a big joke being played on us by ppl looking for a laugh :)”

  1. “I” and “us” vs. “ppl”: He who is not with me is against me. Simplistic Bush-ic reasoning. Alas, the kind of reasoning associated with particularly stupid and violent wars througout the course of history.
  2. “ppl looking for a laugh”: making accusations about veracity and intentionality of those evil malevolent Others.
  3. that “:)” is the thing that really pissed me off. Ambiguously tied to “a laugh”: all laughs have to be accompanied by 🙂 or LOL? Say something contentious and meant to rile, then stick a smily (adverbially) at the end of it, and that makes the whole statement a joke? Or indeed refutes it, and means that you didn’t mean it, a get-out-of-jail-free card? Same goes for JK, *joke*, overuse of “quote” “marks.” In proper satire, and indeed the defamatory kind (see: Ian Hislop) that lands you in court, you use proper grown-up long words with content, like “so-called,” “allegedly.” If you’re going to hit someone, hit them with some substance and weight. See further: any issue of Private Eye.
  4. the whole statement is, legally, being printed and published and in the public domain, LIBEL. This is attempted harm to another’s reputation–here, the truth or intentions of their claims about mineral oil, that person’s status as being worth listening to/reading and taken seriously. Plus a weak try to make out that they have no sense of humour and take themselves too seriously. There’s an excellent word for people who do this sort of thing, by the way: they are a famacide. Nice.

Here’s the conversation exchange that got my goat (now back up an argan tree munching contentedly on leaves), and had me taking screenshots at silly times in the middle of the night my time, between bits of other (work) writing:

Ganging up and bullying aside, was bugged by that “Hee hee! *joke* and the 😉 that’s a smirk as much as wink. We’re the in-crowd. We’re cool and witty. We’re the smart sassy ones, precisely because we’ve (re)defined what sass is. You’re not it. Humour, ladies unladylike people, is not (just) about in-jokes for in-crowds, about exclusion and exclusiveness. All that us/them, kindergarten power-political nonsense. Humour is–when it’s quality humour–more than that. Or not that at all. Above, beyond, richer, deeper, touching all humanity, relevant across time and space, inclusive, and–once again–transcendent.

It goes along with the references to “a private joke” and “my own posts”:  the direction taken in this thread is not about skincare and sharing and exchanging experience.

It’s not about knowledge, and building a knowledge-community.

It’s about power and territory and conquest.


Care to reply?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s